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Maggie Harlow

The Seasons of Sign Entrepreneurship

It’s natural for owners to change focus over time.





LATE LAST YEAR I met a couple of young women entrepreneurs, referred by a couple of friends. Meeting these dynamic, energetic young women sparked something in me — I was feeling the draw to create a networking event specifically to introduce them to some other women in my circle, as well as women in their circles!

It felt like the right time for me to get back to networking, something that I just hadn’t done lately after 20 years in business. Networking and growing our presence in our market is now assigned to a full-time employee, so I rarely get out and jump into the fray.

The event was a smash, and the group continues to organize and gather, even when I’m not available. Just being in the room as these new friends met, introduced themselves and found ways to help one another was just a buzz that I don’t get as often as I used to!

What I could see, however, is that it was the season for me to get involved again in networking, if only for my own enjoyment at putting some smart women together in a room.

I’m a big believer that much in business should be consistent and consistency is critical for lots of things. Financial success, pursuit of new business, retaining and recruiting employees are all things abut which I hope to be consistent.

At the same time, I recognized perfectly sustained effort isn’t always what is required. Recognizing that there are seasons for a business, and for a business owner, gives me permission to try new things, let go of older things and gather my energy for something new or different!


Here are some of the things in my business life that have been “seasonal.”

  • Marketing focus can ebb and flow for me. Sometimes I’m posting daily, and other times it takes a backseat and I let my team take the lead.
  • Making big changes to my team or my processes takes a huge amount of energy. So once I’ve completed a big change or added a new recruit, I sometimes let myself get quiet and see how the changes land before I tackle another.
  • Taking time off! When I’m feeling burned out, getting out of the office for a long period of time, or for a consistently repeating time, lets me refuel and regain my focus. Last year I took every single Friday off and the team coalesced around that and figured out how to fill in. The extra day off each week made me jazzed to return on Monday.
  • Involvement in community efforts and volunteering can be draining when it takes too much bandwidth. If I sign up for a leadership role in my volunteer life, I remember to take a deliberate break from it before I sign up for something new.
  • Changing my schedule during the week has been a wonderful “change up” experience. Sometimes having one day full of staff meetings is just right, and sometimes I decide taking just one meeting a day is better for my energy.

The pursuit in business is relentless. I don’t know many entrepreneurs who are successful and able to “shut it off” without an effort.

I encourage you to think about ways to give yourself a change, take a break, or just switch gears in your business life to help renew your energy and bring new focus and excitement to what’s next!



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